Valcke praises green Curitiba
Brazil's 2014 World Cup preparations earned some rare praise from Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke on Tuesday after he visited the host city of Curitiba and its Arena da Baixada Stadium.
The Frenchman was impressed with the green credentials of the city, where public buses run on electricity or biofuels, and progress at the stadium, one of the most modern and compact in Brazil.
"We were told today that the stadium is on the right track and right on schedule, and we were also given information on funding," Valcke said in a statement on Fifa's website (www.fifa.com).
"This is the type of stadium I like as you really feel that you're close to the action. The retractable roof is also a good investment for the future.
"The important thing is that it will have a life after the World Cup, hosting other tournaments and other teams.
"The lead times are perfect and the schedule is being met," he added. "There is enough time left to complete the construction work, and we should deal with obstacles only when they arise, not before. Curitiba is green for go.
"We have to organise a green World Cup and compensate for carbon emissions, and we need to have rainwater-collection systems in place, for example.
"The stadium in Curitiba has been fitted with solar panels that generate electricity both for itself and the city, and Fifa is constructing a building along these lines."
Curitiba also hosted matches at the 1950 World Cup at the Vila Capanema stadium.
Valcke has in the past been exasperated at Brazil's slow progress for the tournament, at one stage infuriating the host nation by saying they needed "a kick up the backside."